The Nature and Character of the Gnosis

The sages of the Rig Veda communicated their perceptions about the higher planes of consciousness in symbolic language since it is not really possible to provide a true sense of how things actually “work” at those levels within the strictures of the linear logic structure utilized by our mental framework of language. When we therefore come to the point of desiring to describe the action of the Gnosis, for instance, in its own right, and not just as a comparison to the mental mechanisms and processes that we understand, it is necessary to revert to the kind of symbolism utilized by the sages. Sri Aurobindo decoded this symbolic structure in his work The Secret of the Veda and utilizes this basis to describe the Gnosis. The gnostic consciousness mediates between the supreme state of Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss and the fragmented and isolated manifestation of the individual forms in the world of Matter-Life-Mind. As an intermediary consciousness, it takes on the light from the higher hemisphere and expresses it in a manner that can be experienced in the awareness of mind-life-matter. “In the gnosis Sachchidananda gathers up the light of his unseizable existence and pours it out on the soul in the shape and power of a divine knowledge, a divine will and a divine bliss of existence. It is as if infinite light were gathered up into the compact orb of the sun and lavished on all that depends upon the sun in radiances that continue for ever. But the gnosis is not only light, it is force; it is creative knowledge, it is the self-effective truth of the divine Idea. This idea is not creative imagination, not something that constructs in void, but light and power of eternal substance, truth-light full of truth-force; and it brings out what is latent in being, it does not create a fiction that never was in being.”

“Because it carries this creative force of the divine Idea, the Sun, the lord and symbol of the gnosis, is described in the Veda as the Light which is the father of all things, Surya Savitri, the Wisdom-Luminous who is the bringer-out into manifest existence.”

“A divine radiance of undeviating knowledge, a divine power of unfaltering will and a divine ease of unstumbling bliss are the nature or Prakriti of the soul in supermind, in vijnana. The stuff of the gnostic or supramental plane is made of the perfect absolutes of all that is here imperfect and relative and its movement of the reconciled interlockings and happy fusions of all that here are opposites. For behind the appearance of these opposites are their truths and the truths of the eternal are not in conflict with each other; our mind’s and life’s opposites transformed in the supermind into their own true spirit link together and are seen as tones and colourings of an eternal Reality and everlasting Ananda. Supermind or gnosis is the supreme Truth, the supreme Thought, the supreme Word, the supreme Light, the supreme Will-Idea; it is the inner and outer extension of the Infinite who is beyond Space, the unfettered Time of the Eternal who is timeless, the supernal harmony of all absolutes of the Absolute.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 22, Vijnana or Gnosis, pp. 465-466

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